Serial dieter Donna Wilkinson has thanked her ‘support group’ for helping her achieve a 10 stone weight loss.
The teaching assistant has gone from 23st 7lbs to 13st 7lbs in just 22 months with the help of Slimming World.
It has meant she could get into the knee-high boots she had wanted for so long and her dream Superdry hoodie.
Now Donna has credited others for helping her lose weight – including dad Nigel ,who lost 3st at the group alongside her.
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The 32-year-old added: “My dad and sister have been the best support for me. My dad and I even won couple of the year at our group!
“I have another friend who lives in Brighton and he rings me every Saturday to see how I’ve done, and whenever we get together we always eat Slimming World friendly meals. It really helps so much to have that support.
“My consultant Laura has also been amazing, as well as everyone at group. It’s such a motivating environment and everyone is looking out for eachother.
“It’s great to get the stickers and the certificates as you go through your weight loss journey and Laura always pushes for us to go for them.”
The mum-of-two, from Bradeley, started her latest plan in July 2018.
She had previously lost weight with Slimming World, but piled the pounds back on and she knew she had to start again.
So after the birth of her youngest daughter in May 2018, she wanted to get back on track once and for all in order to be a good role model.
Donna said: “I’ve always struggled with my weight. When I was 19, I was diagnosed with PCOS and they told me that I would be unable to have children. They said that losing weight could help, so it is always something that I have tried to do.”
Donna was lucky enough to become a mum to two girls – five-year-old Harriet and two-year-old Poppy – who have supported her throughout her journey and got involved with her exercises too.
She added: “I am trained in mini yoga because of my job, which has been really good for my mental well-being and allows the girls to be involved too.
“I also started walking around Westport Lake about three times a week and, for the past six months or so, I’ve been going to the gym. I’m also doing Couch to 5K.
“Throughout lockdown, we have also been doing Joe Wicks’ PE every day, which has allowed us to stay active.”
One of Donna’s secrets to her huge weight loss is to plan meals so she stays on track and saves money.
“It’s better to know ahead so that you can shop accordingly and not get tempted by other things,” she said. “It also helps when you are trying to eat a variety of different meals so things don’t get boring.
“I have an Instagram account and I follow so many inspiring people who also follow Slimming World. They really motivate you and inspire you with meal ideas. I love cooking, so I’m always up for trying something new.”
Donna previously won the group’s Miss Slinky in 2018 and 2019, Woman of the Year in 2019 and Greatest Loser in 2020. She said she has always been a ‘foodie’, but now loves being able to cook healthier meals.
She added: “A lot of people will ask how I find the time to cook, but I just really enjoy it. I love trying new things and cooking fakeaways.
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“I have always used my syns for what I need them for, such as sauces. I’m more likely to use them in meals, rather than save them for chocolate at the end of the day.
“I love batch cooking and freezing leftovers, so that I always have something in to fall back on. Last week, I made bubble and squeak out of the leftovers from Sunday dinner because I hate waste.
“My top tip would be to just always be prepared. I don’t really drink much now, but I know that if I do then I will want something to eat when I come home, so I’ll prepare some Slimming World chips that I can heat up to stop me going off plan.”
Her weight loss has given Donna a new lease of life and she is now able to shop wherever she wants after dropping seven dress sizes from a size 28 to a slender size 14.
She added: “I have always wanted a Superdry hoodie – and now I have two! My sister bought me one and I treated myself too, which I wouldn’t have been able to do before.
“And my first non-scale victory was being able to wear a pair of knee-high boots. I’d wanted some for so long and it was just amazing when they finally fit me. I never ever bought trendy clothes growing up because I was always limited, but I’m not anymore.”
Scott attends Laura’s Slimming World group on a Saturday morning at Co-op Academy Stoke-on-Trent, in Westport Road, Tunstall. During the lockdown period, the group is meeting virtually. For more information, you can contact Laura on 07842 219456.